City to enter recycling trial

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

“It takes a plastic bottle between 700-1,000 years to decompose. When you recycle, it takes 5 seconds.”

That’s what Emerald Coast Utilities Authority Public Information Officer Jim Roberts said at a recycling town hall meeting on Dec. 13 at city hall in Atmore.

Roberts spoke at the town hall to help educate city residents on proper techniques to recycling and how the ECUA processes materials through its materials recycling facility, or MRF, in Pensacola, Fla.

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“The main purpose of the program is to save customers money and it’s environmental,” he said.

One reason why the city held the town hall meeting is because it closed its recycling center in November.

Additionally, the meeting served as an educational tool for residents on what is and isn’t acceptable recycling materials for ECUA. The city of Atmore has entered a three-month agreement, or trial basis, with ECUA for recycling services. During the time span, ECUA is going to test the city’s contaminated recyclables and determine whether or not to enter into the agreement.

At present, ECUA recycles 175 tons of materials daily, and collects materials east of Destin, Fla. to the east of Mobile.

Two of the questions asked and answered on recycling include what and what is not recyclable?

The following is what is recyclable at ECUA:

• glass, any color

• Newspaper and inserts

• Magazines and catalogs

• Junk mail and envelopes

• Cardboard

• Phone books

• Office and school papers (colored paper)

• Brown paper bags (grocery)

• Boxboard (cereal, cake and cracker boxes, etc.)

• Pizza boxes

• Plastic produce clamshells (plastic containers with food in them)

• Plastics No. 1-7

• Plastic milk jugs, bottles and containers

• Aluminum cans and lids

• Pet food cans and dry pet food bags

• Aluminum foil baking pans

• Balls of tin foil; foil pie tins

• Tin and steel cans and lids

• Metal pots, pans and cookie sheets

• Egg cartons, cardboard only at this time

The following isn’t recyclable:

• No plastic bags – Please check with your local grocery stores to see if they collect plastic bags for recycling.

• No ice cream cartons

• No waxy/paper milk cartons

• No aerosol cans

• No juice boxes/bags

• No food waste

• No garbage or yard waste

• No garden hoses

• No window blinds

• No bubble wrap

• No tarps

• No bedding or linens

• No carpeting or rugs

• No construction materials

• No clothes

• No diapers

When talking about contaminated items, Roberts said it includes glass materials that haven’t been rinsed out.

“It clogs the machinery,” he said.

He said if you are recycling cardboard, flatten it before dropping it off at the center.

After the meeting, City Executive Assistant Celia Lambert said Atmore will start its agreement with ECUA sometime in January, and reminded residents that it’s an evaluation on recycling here.